Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services provide transportation to medical facilities for people with disabilities. One of the types of NEMT services is stretcher transportation.
It’s useful for those with certain circumstances that other types of NEMT services can’t accommodate. Keep scrolling to learn more about the benefits of stretcher transport and how you can take advantage of this service.
1. It’s Designed with Accessibility in Mind
For some, going to the hospital or a medical clinic is as simple as driving there. But if you or someone you love needs to get to such appointments while on a stretcher, driving there yourself likely isn’t an option.
While other people may have family or friends drive them, most cars can’t comfortably accommodate a stretcher. And because they’re personal vehicles rather than commercial, they likely don’t have the space or money for any medical equipment. NEMT vehicles, however, have all the necessary medical equipment to keep you or your loved one safe.
These services are also more accessible than ridesharing. Rideshare drivers aren’t trained like NEMT employees are and can’t provide any medical care. They also expect you as the rider to come to the sidewalk or other safe location.
NEMT services on the other hand will most likely offer door-through-door transportation. It’s a service that involves the driver using moving stretchers to transfer you from your bed or chair and bring you to the vehicle. This also includes bringing you to the specific room once at the clinic or hospital and returning you safely inside your home.
Another roadblock may be that the other options available don’t operate when you need them to. Using either public transport or rides from family and friends relies on their schedules, rather than yours. Transport services often operate 24/7.
This allows for scheduling for any time and can be done independently, or in tangent with the clinic or hospital where you’re receiving your care.
2. It’s More Affordable than Other Modes of Transportation
If you’re considering these services, your biggest concern may be the cost. Compared to using NEMT services, buying a modified NEMT or paratransit vehicle is incredibly cost-prohibitive. Prices for these start at around $45,000, not including insurance and other fees associated with buying a new vehicle.
Prices depend on how often one uses medical transport and the distances traveled. But it can be much more affordable to do so rather than buying a new vehicle.
Some hospitals and clinics may provide paratransit or NEMT services. And they may offer discounts or other special pricing.
For individual providers, prices may vary. Some factors include the distance traveled and how often you’ll need the services.
Stretcher transportation services generally run around $100-200 per trip on weekdays during business hours. You’ll pay about $125-225 for a trip on the weekend and after normal business hours. Holiday rates may cost around $150-250 per trip.
There may be extra fees including mileage, wait time, and fees for extra attendants.
Insurance may lower costs as well. Non-emergency medical transport may be considered a medical necessity for specific usages.
How much your insurance will cover depends on your plan and benefits. If you want to use insurance to bring down the cost of NEMT services, make sure to check with your provider for specific details.
Medicaid can also help. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services(CMS), has released a list of situations that qualify someone for coverage.
Medicare may cover services in very particular circumstances. If you have a written order from your doctor stating that the transportation is medically necessary, it may be covered on a limited basis. But as with insurance, it’s best to talk to your doctor and get current information from your provider.
3. It’s The Best NEMT Option for Long-Distance Travel
Medical providers encourage long-distance medical transportation for trips within 24 hours. Or rides that are less than 1,500 miles. For people who need a stretcher, traveling by air might be more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Stretcher transport services are the best option for this type of travel. For those receiving care outside of their local area, stretchers are comfortable for extended periods of time. With stretchers, you have the option to lay flat or sit up on a mattress.
They’re also a good choice for long-distance travel because they usually operate around the clock. This means it’s easy to schedule a ride for an early morning appointment several miles away without having to worry about the timing.
When you consider using long-distance transport, you should think about three main factors. The company’s credentials and reputation, the crew, and the vehicle.
Knowing that you or your loved one are receiving the quality care you deserve over a long trip is vital. Look over any reviews for the company and do your due diligence in making sure that they have your best interests in mind.
The attitudes and credentials of the crew on board should impact your choice. They need to be compassionate and know basic medical care techniques. You also may need to consider whether you want an EMT and/or paramedic on board, depending on the type of care needed.
In addition, only certain vehicles can be used to transport stretchers. The car needs to be able to provide space for the stretcher and attendant or attendants, and any friends or family members that go with you on the trip as well.
Consider Stretcher Transportation for Yourself or a Loved One
NEMT services are a great accessible option for those with disabilities. With wheelchair and stretcher transportation as well as other services, Affinity Transit is the company to choose. Get a free estimate today and travel in comfort with a qualified crew.